By that standard, the Birch Run native has made a fortune since becoming an international business major at SVSU. Her experience allowed her to network with professionals internationally, earn an internship in the field, and present her papers at two global conferences in the last year alone.
“The international business major program has helped me become aware of the opportunities that are out there and to see how attainable those opportunities can be,” she said.
The road to her decision to major in the program began much earlier in life. As a child, she traveled with her parents to Canada and Mexico. The experience led Motley to catch “the travel bug.” She has happily lived with it ever since, visiting 13 countries — mostly in the last two years — such as Croatia, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands and Scotland.
“I’m very passionate about bringing my love of travel to my career,” she said.
And she’s getting a head start on that career at SVSU. With the help of her professors, Motley in February 2017 secured an internship with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, which helps Michigan manufacturers grow, prosper and compete across the globe.
Motley said opportunities such as the internship were made possible by international business faculty with a deep knowledge of the industry and a strong desire to empower their students. One of the most influential faculty members for Motley was George Puia, SVSU’s Dow Chemical Company Centennial Chair in Global Business. Puia, who in 2016 was among 50 educators internationally to receive the Oxford Journal Global Top 50 Educators Award, was instrumental in helping Motley land at Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center.
He also co-authored a paper with Motley that she later presented at an international conference in Oxford University in England in July 2017. The paper examined the effects of teaching entrepreneurship using hands-on methods.
“It was terrifying but definitely a learning experience,” Motley said of presenting her work to a worldly crowd. “It got me hooked.”
Two months later, she presented a second paper, this time at an international conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia, largely attended by Ph.D. students. The second paper focused on the challenges for the cosmetic industry in shifting toward sustainable packaging.
Her environment at SVSU has offered other advantages for Motley. She was a member of the university’s Garber Cardinal Business Edge, a leadership development program. She attends the business-focused events coordinated by SVSU’s Dow Entrepreneurship Institute. And SVSU’s large international student community provides Motley with diverse peers and friends typical for professionals in international business.
“The world is becoming more and more global, and it’s an advantage to jump on that train now,” she said of her decision to become an international business major. “This program provides that bigger picture.”